News and notes from around the league for April 27, 2013.
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Probable Pitchers for April 27, 2013
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The defending NL MVP is in a tier of his own, but there are plenty of intriguing options down below.
Today we kick off our positional tier rankings. Last offseason, Derek Carty tackled the tiers by himself; this spring, we've decided to attack them as a team. Players at each position will be divided into five tiers, represented by the number of stars.
Five-star players are the studs at their respective position. In general, they are the players that will be nabbed in the first couple of rounds of the draft, and they'll fetch auction bids in excess of $30. Four-star players are a cut below the studs at the position. They will also be earl- round selections, and they're projected to be worth more than $20 in most cases. Three-star players are the last tier in which players are projected to provide double-digit dollar value in auctions, and two-star players are projected to earn single digits in dollar value in auctions. One-star players are late round sleepers and roster placeholders. As was the case with our positional rankings series, the positional tiers aren't simply a regurgitation of the projected PECOTA values.
Fredi Gonzalez began the year with a strong group of starters—even with Tim Hudson on the disabled list—and plenty of possible reinforcements. When Jair Jurrjens coughed up five home runs and 10 walks in his first four starts, Atlanta had the luxury of sending him down, because Hudson was finally healthy and Randall Delgado was emerging as a reliable rotation piece.
Dee Gordon hits his first home run, two bench players push the limits of bad batting, Chris Davis keeps hitting, Clay Hensley exposes the unearned run, Derek Jeter hits cleanly in three of his five at-bats (or does he?), and more.
Five things I wanted to write about happened in last night’s games, but none of them was substantial enough on its own for an article. The solution: drop all five unrelated observations (plus a few more for good measure) into the same article draft and call it a column. Trick of the trade.
Derek Jeter goes 3-for-5 and gets accused of steroid use by this one guy I talked to
I live in a baseball discourse bubble.
Is there such a thing as a "closer mentality," or can any effective setup man handle the closer role? The BP staff tries to get to the bottom of the matter.
The following is an edited transcript of an in-house discussion that took place among the Baseball Prospectus staff when one of our number solicited examples of unsupportable baseball arguments for an upcoming article. After Kevin proposed "Anyone can close," the thread took off in a new direction.
VP welcomes Nick Hundley this week but says goodbye to three rookie middle infielders.
Departures Jose Altuve, Houston Astros (Yahoo! 4%, ESPN 3%, CBS 20%)
Altuve did not have a good week, batting just .143/.182/.238, and his departure from the Value Picks list is reflective of his struggles since his initial entry on the list. Since August 2, Altuve has hit .264/.285/.364, though that has been tempered by the addition of five steals in seven attempts. However, until he starts trying to take more bases or hits for a bit better average, his placement in the inept Houston lineup makes it unlikely for him to be worth a playing time consideration in anything but NL-only leagues.
A look at three middle relievers who could be poised to take a big step forward in 2012.
Those of you who play in mixed leagues rarely have to look at middle relievers for anything more than reserve roster filler, if that. Those who play in AL- or NL-only leagues, however, are well aware of how endgame relief picks in March can play a difference within a season, and nailing the right ones can often turn huge profits. Some relievers, like David Robertson, can be valuable assets even while not getting any saves while others can perform well and then step in for a closer when the closer is injured or ineffective.
B.J. Upton and Colby Rasmus had sky-high ceilings as prospects, but their up-and-down performances in the majors has led them to the trading block.
The July 31 trading deadline traditionally turns the spotlight on pending free agents that can shore up a contender's roster for the stretch run. Carlos Beltran and Hiroki Kuroda are the belles of the quick-fix ball this year, and if they don't sound tremendously enticing, it helps explain why so much talk is focused elsewhere, on younger and more affordable players still under club control. Ubaldo Jimenez and Hunter Pence fit that bill, even if their respective teams' willingness to trade them is something of a head-scratcher. More puzzling is how B.J. Upton and Colby Rasmus have arrived at this juncture, particularly given the big things projected for them just a few years ago. On the other hand, maybe that explains exactly why they're here.
Rich Harden resurfaces at just the right time, Travis Snider getting off the schneid means bad news for Juan Rivera, the Dodgers' Dee Gordon fails his first audition, the D'backs lose their closer, the Yankees release some insurance, and more.
How the Cards can cope with the abdication of Prince Albert (and its implications for his payday), a Barton in hand becomes one in the bushes, and the D'backs, Braves, and Giants pursue blasts from the past for their benches.